“I had been teaching my three-year-old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime she repeated it after me. One night she said she was ready to solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer.

‘Lead us not into temptations,’ she prayed, ‘but deliver us some e-mail. Amen'” (from Good, Clean Fun: Internet for Christians)

-Preaching September/October 1999

 

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According to the Associated Press, a real estate
tycoon named Ronald Bergeron, who was known for his love of nature,
tried to show off for visitors by riding on the back of an eight foot
alligator. The man owned his own nature preserve. There was a
complication. The alligator bit his hand and pulled him into the
water. Only after onlookers pulled the gator’s tail, did he release
Bergeron. Bergeron suffered two broken fingers and had puncture
wounds on his hand. Still, he says he will not give up alligator
wrestling. He says its, “Too exciting.” We are all like that at
times. We think we can just fool around a bit with sin, but
sometimes it bites back. Still, we keep on playing the game.

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.

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The movie, “Lord
of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” has revived interest in Tolkein’s
fantasy. It also has people talking about truths the book addresses. Much discussion
centers on the ring itself. The ring is the most powerful of several rings that
are abroad in this fantasy world. It can make the wearer invisible. It also
seduces those who wear it.

By strange circumstances, the ring comes into the possession of Bilbo Baggins,
a noble, peace-loving creature called a Hobbit. He took it from a nasty beastly
creature named Gollum. At the beginning of the book and movie, Bilbo is urged
by his old friend Gandalf to give up the ring. Even though the ring is evil,
by and large, it seems, Bilbo is uncorrupted. Yet, when told to give it up he
resists and gets angry.

It finally comes to Bilbo that he is becoming more and more like the loathsome
Gollum, even beginning to talk like him. The ring has come to affect him after
all. To his surprise, he learns that the evil Gollum was once a creature very
much like himself. With some reluctance he surrenders the ring. So it is with
all temptation. The longer we flirt with it and harbor it, the more it begins
to corrupt us.

_________________________

Michael Shannon,
Preaching March/April 2002

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The Great Wall of China is a gigantic structure that cost an immense amount of money and labor. When it was finished, it appeared impregnable. But the enemy breached it. Not by breaking it down or going around it. They did it by bribing the gatekeepers.

There are unlimited ways to be enticed by the pull of Satan’s attractiveness. All of the supposed attractiveness of today’s culture is Satan’s way of persuading us to enjoy the things of this world. Temptation is real. From the beginning of time Satan used bribes to cause spiritual defeat. Satan wants us to give in, to get comfortable in a lifestyle of convenience and sin. But god has given us the Holy Spirit and our own will to be the gatekeepers of our heart. Ephesians 6:11-13 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” All men are honest – until they are faced with a situation tempting enough to make them dishonest.

But thank God that today we have the Holy Spirit and the Word that keeps us from being bribed by the Adversary.
(Turning Point Daily Devotional, 8/27/03)

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The movie, “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” has revived
interest in Tolkein’s fantasy. It also has people talking about truths the book
addresses. Much discussion centers on the ring itself. The ring is the most
powerful of several rings that are abroad in this fantasy world. It can make
the wearer invisible. It also seduces those who wear it.

By strange circumstances, the ring comes into the possession of Bilbo Baggins,
a noble, peace-loving creature called a Hobbit. He took it from a nasty beastly
creature named Gollum. At the beginning of the book and movie, Bilbo is urged
by his old friend Gandalf to give up the ring. Even though the ring is evil, by
and large, it seems, Bilbo is uncorrupted. Yet, when told to give it up he
resists and gets angry.

It finally comes to Bilbo that he is becoming more and more like the loathsome
Gollum, even beginning to talk like him. The ring has come to affect him after
all. To his surprise, he learns that the evil Gollum was once a creature very
much like himself. With some reluctance he surrenders the ring. So it is with
all temptation. The longer we flirt with it and harbor it, the more it begins
to corrupt us.

___________________________

Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

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Little by little, Centralia, Pennsylvania, is dying. According to an AP report,
population is down to 21. Centralia used to be home to over 4,000. What is the
problem? It is an underground fire that has burned continuously beneath the
city since 1962! The fire is burning a particularly slow burning type of coal
in the mine that runs beneath the city. The fire has caused hot spots, buckled
highways and parched grass.

So it is with temptation. It is a fire that never fully goes out. While it
happens at an unseen level, if left to itself, it will eventually cause damage
to every aspect of our lives.

___________________________
Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

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“I had been teaching my three-year-old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s
Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime she repeated it after me. One night she
said she was ready to solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated
each word, right up to the end of the prayer.

‘Lead us not into temptations,’ she prayed, ‘but deliver us some e-mail.
Amen.'”

____________________________
from Good, Clean Fun: http://www.slonet.org/~tellswor, via
Internet for Christans

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